The Devil Himself: A Tale of Honor, Insanity, and the Birth of Modern America

The Devil Himself: A Tale of Honor, Insanity, and the Birth of Modern America

by Andrew Porwancher

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Overview

Nicholas Dukes and Captain Adam Nutt were two men with much in common. Both were prominent members of Pennsylvanian society in the 1880s, both had studied law under the same mentor, and both shared an intimate connection to the beautiful Lizzie Nutt: Dukes was her debonair fiancé, Nutt her doting father. Yet Dukes soured on Lizzie during their engagement and resolved to rid himself of his betrothed. He penned a scandalous letter to Captain Nutt accusing Lizzie of sexual transgressions with no fewer than seven suitors, himself included. Such were her charms of seduction, Dukes claimed, that she "would disarm the devil himself." Nutt was not one to suffer lightly an affront to his family. He fired back, "I have always held that when a man invades the sanctity of a home, he takes his life in his hands, and under this code, I shall act." In their shared village of Uniontown, Nutt confronted Dukes in a duel that would lead to one man's death and the other's sensational murder trial. Using the Dukes-Nutt affair, the book explores the role of honor in a society hesitating at the threshold between past and future.

The New Narratives in American History series aims to reimagine the craft of writing history by providing compelling tales told by scholars. These brief books rely on a sustained narrative to illuminate a larger historical theme or controversy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190210786
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 02/15/2016
Series: New Narratives in American History Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 4.70(w) x 6.60(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Andrew Porwancher is Assistant Professor of Classics and Letters at the University of Oklahoma.

Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Uniontown, Pennsylvania Map
Key Figures
Prologue

Chapter 1: Letters
Chapter 2: Beginnings
Chapter 3: Duel
Chapter 4: Maneuvers
Chapter 5: Trial
Chapter 6: Verdict
Chapter 7: Mobs
Chapter 8: Politics
Chapter 9: Vengeance
Chapter 10: Preparations
Chapter 11: Prosecution
Chapter 12: Defense
Chapter 13: Decision
Chapter 14: Vindication

Epilogue
Afterword
Notes
Index

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